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How To Use LinkedIn Groups More Effectively

Do you want to get more out of LinkedIn Groups?

Are you interested in using LinkedIn Groups to generate leads for your business?

By engaging in a small number of the best groups in your industry you can start to really make the most out of the time you spend on there, source loads of great content and ultimately get yourself some warm leads.

In this article I’ll explain what LinkedIn groups are, what to post to get the most engagement and how you can use your posts to generate content and leads.

Exclusive Bonus: Download your FREE copy of The Ultimate LinkedIn Cheat Sheet

What are LinkedIn groups?

Here’s how LinkedIn describes them:

“LinkedIn Groups provide a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interest to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts and establish themselves as industry experts”

Unfortunately in a lot of cases LinkedIn Groups provide a place for spammers to shamelessly plug their content, something that changes made by LinkedIn last year made even easier.

That said there are still some great groups out there where like minded individuals have relevant, engaging and supportive conversations. A shining example is the Medical Devices Group; it has over 325,000 members, a proactive, passionate owner and quality conversations left, right and centre.

Getting Started

If you are completely new to LinkedIn Groups then read the next two steps to get started. These steps will show you how to quickly find and build up your rapport within groups before starting your own conversation.

If you are familiar with LinkedIn groups then skip down to the 5 Actionable Tips To Use LinkedIn Groups More Effectively.

Step 1: Find the best groups

The best way to find groups is to use LinkedIn’s search function which is at the top of the LinkedIn website. Use the following steps  to find and join the best groups for your industry.

1. Search keywords related to your industry in the search bar e.g. ‘Medical Devices’

LinkedIn Search Bar

2. Click ‘Groups’

Select ‘Groups’ to search for LinkedIn Groups related to your keywords

3. Join 5 – 10 relevant groups (try other search terms if you need to)

4. Once you have been accepted into the group see what kind of content people are posting and how much engagement each piece of content is getting.

5. Stick with groups that are engaging and non-spammy.

PRO TIP: Stick to specific rather than generalist groups

Step 2: Make a name for yourself

Get involved in other people’s conversations first, don’t just steamroller in and start expecting people to engage with you.

You need to demonstrate to the group that you’re there to engage, share your knowledge and ultimately be a valuable group member.

Once you’re ready to start your own conversations (it won’t take long) then you can use the actionable tips below to gain the best results.


 

5 Actionable Tips To Use LinkedIn Groups More Effectively

#1 Ask one thing

As with any other social channel, there is a LOT happening on LinkedIn. People aren’t spending all day on there so you need to get their attention quickly.

The best conversations that I have started asked people one simple, easy-to-answer question.

Like this one:

 

Example LinkedIn group discussion

Once you start getting lots of responses you can ask individual contributors to expand on what they have said, usually this starts happening organically anyway and the conversations evolve on their own.

PRO TIP: Ask people to describe something in ONE word – it really gets them going and is the ultimate example of making something easy to engage with.

I started a discussion a while back asking a scientific group ‘in ONE word, what is your lab missing’ and got over 100 comments. Someone even started an alternative discussion asking ‘in ONE word, what is the best thing about your lab’.

#2 Use the ‘reply privately’ function

Did you know that depending on a user’s settings you can message them privately straight from a group discussion?

This is a great way to start building a relationship with an individual contributor, here’s how:

When someone replies to your comment, press the little ‘…’ in the bottom right and click ‘reply privately’

 

LinkedIn reply privately function within a group discussion

This opens up the standard LinkedIn message area and allows you to send a private, direct message without having to send a connection request first.

#3 Create content from responses

From handy one-liners to whole Ebooks worth of insight, responses to your discussions can make for great content. Make sure people are aware of how you intend to use their responses (it might even make them more likely to get involved) and mention them by name in your article/quote/video etc.

This is something that I have noticed journalists have started doing so it must work. Here’s an example of an article created entirely out of comments on a LinkedIn discussion: 9 Ways Medical Devices Fail

PRO TIP: Once you’ve written the article, share the link back in the same discussion. There’s a good chance the contributors will share it on their social channels too, they’re part of it after all – easy amplification.

#4 Check ‘who’s viewed your profile’ regularly

If you use LinkedIn for lead gen you should be doing this already but it’s especially important when you have a LinkedIn group discussion taking off.

You will likely find that people will be interested to know more about the person that started the discussion. Here’s what happened to my page views when one of my conversations got popular:

The effect of a great LinkedIn group post on profile views

If you don’t already know, here’s how to check:

Under profile, select ‘Who’s viewed your profile’

Who’s viewed your profile function on LinkedIn

Depending on your account level you will see some information on the last 5 people that viewed your profile. If any of them look like potential leads you have an easy conversation starter. Go back to the group and use ‘reply privately’ (see points 2 above).

I usually go with something like:

“Hi X, I see that you have viewed my profile, was there anything in particular you wanted to talk about”

PRO TIP: As well as being a good opener, this also allows you to filter out time wasters. Whenever someone I don’t know sends me a connection request I accept and then send them this message. If they launch in to a sales pitch or don’t reply after a week I remove the connection.

#5 Amplify your conversation

Just like you would with a piece of content, use your LinkedIn profile and other social channels to amplify your discussion by creating a short link and posting it everywhere you can.

You may even consider contacting a few friendly industry influencers directly to see if they want to get involved.

PRO TIP: The best group owners/admins will make their members aware of trending discussions – they may have a ‘post of the week’ or ‘weekly digest’ etc. If you can get on these it’s a whole new level of amplification.

If you want to ask me anything else about LinkedIn groups, send me a connection request here (just don’t forget to reply when I message you!)

Got any more great LinkedIn tips to add? Share them in the comments below!

Carl Lincoln
Carl Lincoln
Carl is a Kent based Marketing Manager and has a personal finance blog called Wiser Wealthier. Expect short, punchy, actionable posts. Connect with Carl on LinkedIn.
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